So, your chronic illness has been (correctly) diagnosed. You’ve memorised your mile-long prescription list. But, you’ve started to notice something – everything around you is exactly the same. There’s no extra seat on the tram for young-people-who-are-sick-but-don’t-actually-look-it. And no amount of smiling is turning the stairs at your job into a ramp. How do you go about asking for the help you need?
Ferris Knight is a writer, producer and performer living with chronic illness and disabilities – bipolar 1 and hypertensive peristalsis, to name but two. She’s had more than a few run-ins with frustrating social barriers, and has gone to great – and painful – lengths to show everyone else just what it’s like to live in her body. Even so, she finds herself tempted to deny that anything is wrong. Asking for help can feel weirdly humiliating … but, as we’ll discover, it’s an absolute imperative to living with chronic illness.
Content warning: this episode includes discussions of severe physical and mental illness, hospitals and medical trauma.
- ‘My Bipolar Story’ by Ferris Knight, Ramona, published 6 August 2018
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In this episode
Hosted, produced and edited by Silvi Vann-Wall and Izzie Austin. Writer, producer and performer Ferris Knight is our guest.
Recorded at Studio 757, Melbourne. This series is produced in partnership with the Wheeler Centre’s Signal Boost programme. Mentorship and production support from Bec Fary.
Music: ‘Dip Dop’ by Barrie Gledden; ‘Sad Marimba Planet’ and ‘More on That Later’ by Lee Rosevere.
Sound effects sourced from SoundSnap.
Download a transcript of this episode here (Adobe PDF format).